Liverpool might have won the league with Reina, claims Kop 'keeper legend

Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar believes the Reds could have won the Premier League last season if they had kept Pepe Reina at Anfield.

The 56-year-old former Liverpool goalkeeper asserted the claim that the Reds were wrong to loan Spanish stopper Pepe Reina out to Napoli last season. The former Zimbabwe international made 440 appearances for Liverpool between 1981 and 1994.

“I said last season I didn’t think Simon Mignolet was an all-round keeper,” Bruce Grobbelaar told TalkSport.

“I was crucified in the press for saying that, but when you look at the amount of goals he let in last season we eventually finished in second place,” he added.

“Had we had Pepe Reina in goal we might have won the league, who knows?”

It’s perhaps easy to say with the benefit of hindsight but are his claims correct in context? Simon Mignolet had been in fine form the previous season in the Premier League with Sunderland and Pepe Reina had been lacking his previous top form with Liverpool.

The 31-year-old Spaniard made 285 appearances for the Reds, helping them win the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Super Cup during the course of his nine – year spell at Anfield before reuniting with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez last term in Naples. This summer, he has completed a permanent move to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, linking up with Barcelona legend Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.

Mignolet lacked confidence and form in his debut season under Brendan Rodgers but few would have predicted that the Reds would be challenging for the Premier League title and fewer would have predicted that Mignolet would struggle. He was, this time last year, considered the Belgium No.1 but he was overtaken during the course of last season by Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois. 

Overall, Rodgers cannot be blamed for the decision he made, even in retrospect - Reina had been underwhelming and Mignolet had been one of the best in the league and the boss made his decisions according to the information available to him at the time. After all, Liverpool finished 7th the last season Reina played as No.1.

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